Haridwar Ardh Kumbh Mela 2016 – An Unforgettable Event You Must Attend

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The Haridwar Ardh Kumbh Mela 2016 will commence from the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti on 14th January 2016 in the holy city of Haridwar. Held once every sixth year in holy cities of Allahabad, Ujjain, Nasik and Haridwar in India, this time around it is Haridwar’s turn to play host and preparations are in full swing for the grandest spectacle of the year.

The Kumbh Melas

Haridwar Kumbh MelaWhen Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries, the Ardh kumbh Mela takes place and this day is considered as quite auspicious and holy. Starting 14th January to April 2016, the Mela will be in full swing, attended by lakhs of devotees from all over the country.

Normally, a Kumbh Mela is held every four years spread across Allahabad, Ujjain, Haridwar and Nasik. The special feature of Kumbh Melas is that ascetics and yogis from everywhere make it a point to attend along with 60 million people said to flock to these fairs. The Purna Kumbh Mela held only at Allahabad once in 12 years and the Maha Purna Kumbh Mela, occurring once in 144 years also takes place at this holy city. Every sixth year after the Purna Kumbh Mela an Ardh Kumbh Mela is held at the four holy cities by rotation. The “Ardh” or half here means after completion of half of the period of 12 years, the time it takes for Jupiter to make one round of the zodiac. The Kumbh Melas, in essence, celebrate victory of gods over demons when they struggled to gain possession of the pot of nectar.

Legend

When Brahma was creating the world, he advised the gods to retrieve the pot of nectar and the gods, in turn, sought assistance of Asuras or demons and together they churned the ocean to bring up the pot from the bottom. After ages, the sage Dhanvantari appeared with the pot but then the gods and demons fought to take control. A few drops of nectar spilled at Haridwar, Ujjain, Allahabad and Nasik, making them the holiest spots. The alignment of planets at that time is taken as the time to hold the Purna Kumbh Mela at these four places.

Haridwar enjoys a special status because it is located on the banks of the River Ganga and it is considered a gateway to Heaven.

Important Bathing Places in Haridwar

  1. Har Ki Pauri
  2. Subhash Ghat
  3. Pantdweep Ghat
  4. Kangra Ghat
  5. Sati Ghat
  6. Daksheshwar Ghat
  7. Sita Ghat
  8. Gau Ghat
  9. Sapth Sarovar Kshetra Ghat
  10. Asthi Pravath Ghat
  11. Sarvanand Ghat
  12. Singh Dwar Ghat
  13. Varagi Camp ghat
  14. Ganesh Ghat
  15. Roode Balewala Ghat

Important Dates

  1. 14th January        Makar Sankranti, commencement of the Ardh Kumbh Mela
  2. 12th February      Vasant Panchami
  3. 22nd February     Magha Purnima or full moon
  4. 7th March             Mahashivratri
  5. 7th April                Chaitra Amavasya
  6. 14th April              Mesha Sankranti
  7. 15th April              Ram Navmi
  8. 22nd April             Chaitra Shukla Purnima

Bathing in the Holy Ganga here on 14th January on Makar Sankranti will wash away sins and frees you from the eternal cycle of life and death. The other dates are also auspicious to take a bath in the River Ganga.

Preparations

The Government of India as well as the Uttarakhand Government prepare well in advance for the Ardha Kumbh Mela. Plenty of tents are put up in vacant areas to accommodate ascetics, sadhus and pilgrims flocking to the city. Though there are over 300 ashrams and Dharamshalas able to accommodate 15000 pilgrims, the number is hardly sufficient. Therefore tents are put up in a huge campus divided into 30 sectors and administered by officials. Hundreds of buses will be deployed to provide transport to pilgrims from various points in the State and also from neighbouring States. Special trains are also arranged for convenience of pilgrims.

People are fascinated by the sight of ascetics, by the Amrita Kumbha performances and the scene of devotees in the thousands bathing in freezing waters as well as the rituals going on in several places. It is a feast for the soul.

Getting There
  • Haridwar is connected by rail to important cities of India but there will be a massive rush so book your tickets in advance.
  • The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun, about 35 km away, served by major domestic airlines.
  • Haridwar is well connected by road to other parts of India. It is about 209 km from Delhi and you can travel by state transport buses, private buses and taxis.
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